G2-Acetylcholinesterase is presynaptically localized in Torpedo electric organ

J. Eichler, I. Silman, L. Anglister*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


In Torpedo electric organ, much of the acetylcholinesterase (AChE) is a globular dimer (G2), anchored to the plasma membrane via covalently attached phosphatidylinositol and selectively solubilized by a bacterial phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C. While the structure of this form of the enzyme is well-established, the ultrastructural localization of G2-AChE is still unclear. Selective solubilization with phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C was, therefore, combined with immunocytochemistry at the electron microscope level, in order to localize G2-AChE in electric organ of Torpedo ocellata. Thin sections of electric organ were labelled with antibodies raised against Torpedo AChE, followed by gold-conjugated second antibodies, before or after exposure to the phospholipase. For comparison, the location of AChE was examined using histochemical methods. We show that (1) immunolabelling is concentrated in the synaptic clefts between nerve terminals and the innervated face of the electrocyte; (2) this labelling co-localizes with AChE histochemical reaction products; and (3) prior exposure to the phospholipase causes a decrease in AChE-associated labelling. Quantitative analysis of immunolabelling in the synaptic clefts shows that the phospholipase treatment had reduced primary labelling at or adjacent to the presynaptic membrane. Together with our earlier biochemical and immunofluorescent evidence, these results support our previous assignment of a neuronal and synaptic localization for G2-AChE in Torpedo electric organ.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)707-716
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neurocytology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1992


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